For all of you traveling through Nebraska this summer, I have some great western Nebraska stops you can take to break up your I-80 journey. Going from east to west…
Cody Park in North Platte:
Cody Park has perfect rides for toddlers, and hardly ever do you have to wait in line for more than a few minutes. The smiles on my 3-year-old’s face in the pictures prove the point, and the big kids enjoy it too. You can also eat there for really cheap, and they have huge ice cream cones. The baby size is even big.
Front Street in Ogallala:
Ogallala is home to the “longest running summer stock theater production in Nebraska” – The Crystal Palace Review. We went to the show for the first time this summer and will go again. It was very enjoyable. It does fill up, so you might want to call ahead to make sure they have a seat for you. You can eat supper before or during the show or you can just come to watch the show. I hear the rib eye is quite good.
If you’re traveling by on a Sunday afternoon and don’t mind taking home some sand, you should try and come hang out with us at Lake McConaughy or the Sutherland Reservoir. We will do our best to show you a fun time and even have a spot for your baby to nap. Although if they are 6 months or older, it might take four hours to finally get them to sleep!
I snapped this picture on my phone when I was at my friend’s house that has the incredible view. I like how it shows a lot about what is happening in western Nebraska right now.
In the bottom of the picture you wee what unwatered grass looks like. DRY. We are really needing rain in our part of the state. We’re at the point where it feels like we’re constantly pleading with God to send rain and always trying not to worry. Oh that we would feel the need for more of Jesus like we feel the need for rain.
Moving on up the picture you see the beautiful green of irrigated corn. Then in the center above that is the golden wheat that farmers are starting to harvest. The contrast between those two this time of year is always so pretty.
Then at the top you have the gorgeous blue sky – the constant in all seasons.
Now check this out. I moved my camera a smidge to the right and it looks like this!
You see a vineyard and then you’re looking at a one acre hop yard. With the price of corn and wheat in the tank, some farmers are stepping out to try new things. This farmer is really going out on a limb. I’m pretty sure you won’t find even a handful of hop yards in our section of the state. It is quite an impressive piece of work!Those posts are huge in real life. Right now the green in the picture is weeds between the rows. The hops are planted in the black weed barrier. I didn’t get an up close picture, but I’m going to have to visit frequently to watch the progress and the process.
We are on the cusp of planting season, which means Brad has pallets of seed corn waiting to be planted in his building. This week the big kids discovered that this makes for a lot of fun. Brad must have suggested it since he remembers playing on piles of seed corn when he was a kid. I guess since we don’t have hay bales to jump on, we’ll jump on “seed bales.”
Brad took these pictures on the day the fun was discovered. After supper, they pleaded to go jump some more. Apparently seed bales makes for some fun posing too.
While we were in the hospital after having William, Uncle Darin had two reasons to come to town. One reason was to meet William. Another reason was to stop at the county treasurer to hopefully get the farm license plate numbers he wanted before someone else took them. I’m not sure which reason was more of the priority for him.
This year all vehicles registered with farm plates in Nebraska get new license plate numbers, and some people (all of the men in Brad’s family) like having meaningful plate numbers. The extra fee of getting new plates before the old ones were expired was worth it to them. Barely into the second week of January all five of the men in Brad’s family had been in to get the plates they wanted. When you live in a small county in Nebraska, the county treasurer tells you this when you’re there. “Your dad was just in this morning.” “You’re the last of your family to come in.” She also told us one farmer was waiting outside the first day they were open this year to make sure no one else took his number.
Brad got license plates that are our birthdays. Yes, he licenses enough vehicles that all six of us have our own plate, plus one or two more! That doesn’t even include our non-farm vehicle or any trailers. Minimalistic living isn’t in Brad’s future.
In honor of Veteran’s Day and the Marine Corps birthday this week, I have a book you may want to consider reading. The author, Jason B. Ladd, asked me way back in August if I would review it for you. Reading has been very hard for me to squeeze in these days, so I haven’t been able to get it read. I do think One of the Few looks like a good book. I say this because it is Christian non-fiction and more of the autobiography type of non-fiction. It isn’t all about fighting in a war, which I would be afraid to read, but about many aspects of life. One of the Few has an average rating between 4 and 5 on a 5 point scale on both Amazon and Good Reads. If you’ve read it, let me know what you thought; and if you haven’t read it already, let me know if you decide to. I hope to get to read it someday.
A big thank you to all who serve and have served in our military. We have no idea how our lives would be different without their service.
Small Town Nebraska/My Family:
Brad decided this morning to go deer hunting. When you have family with land and live right by it, you can make last minute decisions to go hunting. Wyatt was very excited to go hunting for the first time with Brad, even though he’s too young to actually hunt and probably didn’t have a clue what he was going to be doing. Brad got a deer, which means I have one less thing to worry about hitting when driving. Wyatt thought the best part of it was getting to touch the deer, and his second favorite part was helping Brad to gut it. Now we better start making room in our freezer.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn…
Brad finished harvesting his corn today. He’ll still be helping another farmer with harvest, but his corn is out of the field.
The big highlight of this harvest was Elliana learning to drive the grain cart. Brad started showing her the ropes Sunday afternoon.
Aunt Renae rode along with her yesterday, but Elliana just didn’t feel like she could go by herself yet. Today she and Brad went out to finish the last 100 rows. He thought the way things were set up would be perfect for her to drive by herself, and she did. Don’t worry about her being overworked. She’s been SO EXCITED all week about driving the grain cart!
Looking for corn that the combine missed
Another highlight was getting quality, one-on-one time in the combine with the big kids. If you want to see how your kids are different, just spend a few hours with each of them in a combine.
Wyatt and Liza rode with me for a short bit and were more than happy when a better option came up for them. Three people in that small space isn’t ideal for long periods of time.
Now we’re praising God that a safe and happy harvest is complete!